Clemens juror: Key witness in case wasn’t credible
Friday, June 29, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — A juror in the Roger Clemens perjury trial says he and his fellow jurors didn’t find the key prosecution witness in the case credible.
The witness, Clemens’ longtime strength coach Brian McNamee, testified that he injected the star baseball pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone. But McNamee’s physical evidence was kept in a beer can and his story changed over time. Clemens was acquitted last week of charges that he lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using steroids or HGH.
“Brian McNamee was not a strong enough witness to render a verdict of guilty against Roger Clemens,” juror Bradford Weaver told The Associated Press. He said that McNamee wasn’t credible for the jury because of a lack of “truthfulness.”
“The witnesses for the prosecution were, uh, how does one put it, kind of wanting, if you will. ... It was quite lacking. If that’s what they were going to go with, then they should probably not have pursued the case in the first place if that’s all they had, you know.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment Wednesday.
Another juror, Joyce Robinson-Paul, told the AP the case came down to “who was the liar? Was it Clemens or was it McNamee? We decided that it was McNamee.”
She said jurors concluded there were too many inconsistencies and too many different stories from McNamee. And she said they didn’t believe that the physical evidence — medical waste containing steroids and Clemens’ DNA — was reliable.
“Seven years of garbage?” said Robinson-Paul, a retiree. “That had to be tested against the test of time in a beer can. Plus, it was devious on his part.”
Weaver said the testimony of Clemens’ longtime friend and teammate, fellow pitcher Andy Pettitte, “was quite important to all of us, because he recanted.” Pettitte testified that Clemens acknowledged in a conversation using HGH — only to say under cross-examination it was fair to say there was a “50/50” chance he misunderstood Clemens.
Weaver, 63, works as an administrative assistant at the Canadian Embassy, which coincidentally is next door to the federal courthouse where the Clemens trial was held. He said during jury selection in April that he was not a baseball fan, and that Clemens “seemed forthright” in his 2008 congressional appearance.
Jurors deliberated less than 10 hours, and Weaver said no one had to be persuaded to vote for acquittal. He said the jurors were unanimous from the beginning.
Weaver said he doesn’t have a personal opinion about whether Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs. And he declined to comment when asked if he thought the case was a waste of money.
He also said that the two jurors who were dismissed for sleeping were very young.
“And given the nature of the case, and the intricacies that we had to deal with, I’m not surprised that they found it a bit boring,” he said.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on Wednesday released the names of the jurors in response to a Washington Post application for access to the names.
Besides Weaver and Robinson-Paul, all other jurors the AP was able to locate Wednesday either declined to comment or did not respond to messages.
The AP News Research Center in New York contributed to this report.
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